The Non-Humans First Declaration

Whereas; non-human animals are being oppressed and murdered by over 99 percent of the human population and these humans refuse to denounce human privilege.

Whereas; non-human animals are in a situation of immediate emergency and global holocaust with no human crises even coming close to its scale.

Whereas; we recognise our role as animal rights activists as being to directly advocate for non-human animals giving their interests a voice (as they have none in human society), rather than to represent our own ideologies and interests.

We seek to work under the following voluntary principles:

1. No one should be excluded from participation in animal rights activities based on their views on human issues. The non-human animals are in a situation of immediate emergency and need all the help they can get! Furthermore, the women’s rights, anti-racism, etc. movements have no requirement that participants reject species oppression and nor should the animal movement demand the adherence to human rights positions while animals are still in a state of emergency. Of course, every rule has its exceptions (as decided by individual groups) but these kind of bans and exclusions should not be the norm in animal rights.

2. Tactics should prioritise non-human animals, given their emergency situation and the fact non-human animals are being oppressed by the majority of humans. No tactical idea should be excluded from the discussion based on its conflict with human rights ideology.

3. We are aware and concerned about the fact that some human rights improvements within a fundamentally oppressive system towards non-humans leads to increased oppression of non-human animals. For example, economic improvements leading to increases in factory farming, meat consumption, animal labs, etc. We therefore call on human beings to free their own (non-human) slaves before demanding their own rights.

We recognise that individual situations require different responses, these are not rules or policies – nothing is set in stone. These are just generalised, flexible principles. Also we do not seek to define others’ participation within animal rights, these are our principles, we do not seek to force them on others and we expect others not to force us to conform to their beliefs.

This declaration is totally voluntary and we respect opposing views providing they are not used to exclude people from participation in animal rights activities.

The Non-Humans First Declaration does not oppose the idea of human rights, nor does it put non-human animals above humans in moral status. Its aim is only the recognition of the emergency situation of non-human animals and the fact currently the majority of humans are in a oppressor/oppressed relationship with non-human animals.

Group Signatories;

UK Animal Rights Protests https://www.facebook.com/UkAnimalRightsProtests

269life UK https://www.facebook.com/269UK

269life https://www.facebook.com/269calf

269Life South Africa https://www.facebook.com/pages/269Life-South-Africa/374799952648503

Animal Welfare Enforcement Agencyhttps://www.facebook.com/AnimalWelfareEnforcementAgency

269Life Costa Rica https://www.facebook.com/269LifeCostaRica 

Stop Primate Abuse https://www.facebook.com/StopPrimateAbuse

Sirius Global Animal Organisation https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sirius-Global-Animal-Organisation/186631904749048

Veg Foods https://www.facebook.com/pages/VEG-FOOD/575848895805413 

Bangor Animal Kingship  https://www.facebook.com/BangorAnimalRightsKinship

The AAK https://www.facebook.com/AAK4animalliberation?ref=hl

Israel Animal Liberation Press Office https://www.facebook.com/ialpo

Alliance For Animals https://www.facebook.com/alliance4animals?directed_target_id=0

Freedom Farm Sanctuary https://www.facebook.com/pages/Freedom-Farm-Animal-Sanctuary/437775272997984

Non-Human Animal Protection Society in Australia https://www.facebook.com/groups/nonhumansoc/

 

Noted Signatories

 George House (Former Animal Liberation Prisoner)

Sasha Boojor (269Life)

Camille Marino (Former Animal Liberation Prisoner, Negotiation is Over, Eleventh Hour for Animals)

For Individual Signatories: Please Sign here:  https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/the-animal-rights-movement-the-non-humans-first-declaration-individual-signatories?share_id=DKHWyvBUsX&utm_campaign=share_button_action_box&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition

Non-Humans First logo

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Dear Non-Human Animals…

Vegan PC Bro

This article parodies the intersectionalist position on animal rights.

The article is part of a series titled “Reconsidering our Morals – What it means to put Non-Humans first” by Nicole Huber, a translator/writer and fledgling animal liberation activist from Germany.

The views expressed in this series are the authors and may or may not reflect the views of the Non-Humans First Movement.

Dear Non-Human Animals,

stop whining, will you? I know you are being tortured and murdered by the trillions, but that doesn’t give you the right to try and grab all the attention. No-one of us goes through this life without trauma – and numbers are just a tool of oppression of the white male cis-gendered heteronormative racist sexist misogynist homophobe capitalist patriarchy anyway.

Now, don’t get me wrong – we know you have it bad, but show some sense of proportion please. After all, we are oppressed too. You have no idea how horrible it is to be constantly exposed to micro-aggressions. To give you an idea what we have to endure on a daily basis: people may ask us where we’re from – can you imagine the trauma! People even say “Bless you” after we sneezed, completely ignorant to the possibility that we might be offended by religion and thus have our feelings hurt! I’m sure you understand that as long as we have to deal with atrocities like that, we can’t really waste time and energy on trivialities like you guys being boiled alive, skinned alive, gassed, electrocuted, having your throat slit and bleeding to death fully conscious being tortured in vivisection labs (yes, I KNOW “vivisection” means being cut open ALIVE; after all, I as a woman am oppressed by the existence of plastic surgery, so stop animalsplaining to me!), etc. etc. blah blah blah.

You honestly think being raped and forcefully impregnated year after year after year only to have your babies stolen from you every single time is the worst form of sexual violence imaginable? Get real! I am still shaking from watching some undercover video footage from a public building where a man jokingly told a woman his name was “Hugh Mungus”. Now THIS is sexual violence! My heart goes out to this incredibly brave survivor of non-physical sexual assault. One day we shall be free, sister! One fine day, when jokes will have been finally outlawed, and clinically obese women will have won the constitutionally guaranteed right to be deemed attractive (but only if, when, and by whom they choose!)

Now that you’ve learned of the horrors we have to put up with as humans living in the modern Western world, you’ll understand that we don’t take too kindly to your co-opting our suffering by using terms like Holocaust or Slavery to describe your own situation – like we were somehow not incredibly special and far more important than you! (You don’t understand? You’d like me to explain? How dare you! I refuse to be re-traumatized by your entitled assumption that somehow I am responsible for providing arguments for my opinions. Go educate yourselves!)

Speaking of trauma, please tone down all this screaming in agony and bleeding to death. It’s really triggering, violent behaviour. And we deserve a safe space, so please tell your human enablers to be more mindful before spreading violence porn. After all, you already have claimed the whole natural world for your suffering, so leave the internet to us. Plus, there are even places designed exclusively for you to suffer and die – like slaughterhouses, factory farms, bullfighting arenas, to name but a few. And do you see us trying to infiltrate those? There you go.

In addition, some of us are vegans, so it’s not like your issues aren’t dealt with already. But you need to understand that your plight is just a symptom, not the disease. And we all know that it’s no good to treat only the symptoms. We need to get rid of the root of the disease – the white male cis-gendered heteronormative racist patriarchy which was established by white men so that each and every single one of them, from the mightiest king to the most destitute beggar, could enjoy white male privilege at the cost of every other being, then, now and for all eternity. (What are you talking about? Of course there is such a thing as “white men”. Who else could be blamed for everything that’s wrong with the world? Oh, so you recently heard me explaining that there is no such thing as “men” and “women”, just socially constructed male and female genders, arbitrarily assigned at birth, and that in reality there is an infinite number of genders to choose from? That’s Derailing, stop it! You’ll never be considered a good ally if you don’t learn to shut your mouth!)
Anyway, as I was saying, we have to get rid of the cause, not of the symptoms. That’s why it is important for vegans to support people who wear fur, provided they are black and/or female. Yes, I know, it was YOUR fur. Yes, you were brutally murdered for it. But now you’re dead, so by definition you cannot possibly suffer from anything. Whereas people like Rihanna or Beyoncé may be famous millionaire popstars, but they STILL suffer: they suffer from racial stereotyping, even from racial profiling. Also, it’s inherently sexist, misogynist even, to criticise a woman’s choice of clothing. So who has it worse, ey?

Believe me, focussing on dismantling the white male cis-gendered heteronormative racist patriarchy is in your best interest as well. It’s just inconceivable that you could be free, that we could just leave you the fuck alone, as long as we haven’t got rid of any and all human discontent. You see, dear non-human animals, we’re all in this together. We’re all oppressed – some of us, like you, by being brutally exploited and sadistically tortured and killed, others, like young people in the West, by jokes and insensitive wishes of “Bless-you”. There really is no difference. It’s all connected, and you simply cannot get rid of one form of oppression without getting rid of all the others first.

As long as not all of us are free, none are. There will be Total Liberation – or none at all. Especially not for you.

Kind regards,

Your rightfully offended humans

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Death Penalty for One – or Death Penalty for Many?

Death Penalty

This is the first article in a series titled “Reconsidering our Morals – What it means to put Non-Humans first”.

The author, Nicole Huber, is a translator/writer and fledgling animal liberation activist from Germany.

The views expressed in this series are the authors and may or may not reflect the views of the Non-Humans First Movement.

Death Penalty for One – or Death Penalty for Many?

Before I became fully aware of the horrible amount of animal suffering at the hands of humans, I never gave much thought to the issue of capital punishment. It used to be one of the – admittedly very few – subjects on which I didn’t have a clear, leave alone a passionate opinion. I could sort of see the validity of both sides’ arguments, although to be honest, the strongest argument against capital punishment for me was always the danger of convicting an innocent person. However, since I live in Germany where capital punishment does not exist and there was never ever any serious talk about its reintroduction either, I never felt compelled to form an opinion.

After the attempted coup d’état in Turkey in July 2016, one of the first announcements made by president Erdogan was that the rebelling soldiers were to be punished by death and for this purpose, the capital punishment was to be re-introduced. Cue protests from various politicians and lots of sad or angry emoticons on facebook. Turkey had been negotiating regarding her accession to the EU – this, it was made clear, would be impossible for a country with capital punishment in place.

I was among the few who pointed out the hypocrisy thereof. Actually, I argued, Turkey had never abolished the death penalty, nor had any other country in the world. Each year, millions and millions of absolutely innocent non-human beings are sentenced to death and executed in often unbelievably cruel ways. The only difference is that some countries additionally execute humans as well – some of them innocent, many of them not. Why the outrage about the killing of humans when all this slaughter of non-humans goes on with hardly anyone but a small vegan minority even batting an eye?

Now, since compassion for all living beings is such a strong guiding principle in veganism, one could argue that this hypocrisy is only a problem for non-vegans; that you can – in fact, must – be against the killing of animals and against the killing of humans alike. Here’s the rub though: you cannot possibly be at the same time against the death penalty and for the right of animals not to be murdered for food. This is logically and morally inconsistent. After all, prisoners are not kept on bread and water. They consume the flesh of dead animals, the products made from milk that was stolen from desperate mothers and their kidnapped and murdered babies, the eggs of terribly exploited hens, at the price of shredding male baby chicks alive. Just imagine the obscene number of animals that need to be tortured and killed to keep one prisoner alive. This thought becomes only more revolting when you add in the fact that those convicts did commit horrible crimes against humans as well (because let’s face it, people on death row aren’t there for shoplifting).

But what about the wrongfully convicted, I hear you cry. What about the mentally disabled who don’t even understand what they have done? What about countries where people are executed for expressing the wrong view, or even for falling in love with a member of their own sex? In short, what about the innocent? What about them, indeed. The only really innocent ones here are the animals. Do you really think they would care whether they are being slaughtered for the benefit of a “good guy” (in human terms) or for the benefit of a brutal criminal (again, in human terms)? I know I sure as hell wouldn’t.

This is a bitter pill to swallow for any animal liberationist who – like myself – cares about human rights as well. It also shows (and there are several more examples that prove this truth) that it is simply delusional to believe in the slogan “Animal liberation, human rights – one struggle, one fight”, as so many animal liberation activists do these days. In reality, these two goals sometimes painfully collide. In reality, sometimes one is forced to take sides. And taking sides is even comparatively easy in this case, because all it entails is holding a certain opinion. It does neither require us to change our behaviour or to take any action, nor does it usually have any other real-life consequences.

Of course, the situation would be completely different if prisons were to feed only plant food to their inmates (so, if you find it difficult to reconcile being pro death penalty with your moral views, there’s a worthy goal to advocate for). Until this happens, however, this whole issue boils down to the question asked in the headline: Death penalty for one – or death penalty for many?

For me, the answer is clear. Because that’s what it means to put non-humans first – always.

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In Defense of the Non-Humans First Declaration

In Defense of the Non-Humans First Declaration
By Jon Hochschartner

animal rightsI’d like to take a moment to defend the Non-Humans First Declaration, a text that has become something of a boogeyman amongst intersectional animalists. But first, let me be clear about what I’m not doing. I’m not defending the signatories, social media activity associated with the declaration, or anything ancillary to the text itself. This isn’t necessarily meant as a condemnation of these. Rather, I want to limit the scope of my argument.

As mentioned, the declaration has amassed many critics. For instance, while I don’t have the work in front of me, I believe in “The Politics of Total Liberation: Revolution for the 21st Century,” Steven Best described the text as ‘fascist.’ Fascism is one of those accusations slung around the left with such frequency it has lost nearly all meaning. And, as much as I respect Best, I suspect his opposition to the declaration might be personal, rather than political, given a noted signatory is a former comrade, against whom he was forced to take out a restraining order. This would be, of course, understandable on Best’s part, considering what he has gone through, and I wish him a speedy recovery.

In a 2013 article for the Vegan Feminist Network, Syl took issue with the declaration’s approach, arguing signatories “don’t seem to realize that over time, we will lose people from the movement since women, people of color, homosexuals, disabled people, etc will run the hell away.” Corey Wrenn, writing for the Academic Abolitionist Vegan that same year, stated, “Dismissing the importance of intersectionality, the declaration promotes, intentionally or not, what equates to misogyny and white supremacy apologism. It is a position that I argue constitutes harm on vulnerable humans and reflects the privileged space occupied by many anti-speciesist organizers.”

I’d like to address such criticism with a close analysis of the text itself. I know my defense of the declaration will open me up to various accusations. I only hope those who disagree restrict their attacks to my argument. Ad-hominem attacks create an atmosphere in which learning, growth, and debate necessary for the health of our movement, are impossible. With that in mind, and doing my best to observe my own dictum, let’s begin.

In what I believe is the first section animalists might find controversial, the declaration states, “Whereas; non-human animals are in a situation of immediate emergency and global holocaust with no human crises even coming close to its scale.” Some might disapprove of the use of the word ‘holocaust.’ But as I’ve argued elsewhere, all movements compare themselves to struggles of time past, both to confer legitimacy on themselves and establish the urgency of their cause.

For instance, the celebrated Black writer, James Baldwin, describing government repression against the Black Panthers, said, “Now, exactly like the Germans at the time of the Third Reich, though innocent men are being harassed, jailed, and murdered, in all the Northern cities, the citizens know nothing, and wish to know nothing, of what is happening around them.” A quick internet search reveals Baldwin made such analogies frequently. Many readers, I believe, might find such comparisons provocative or inaccurate, but I doubt they’re outraged by them. It’s only when human suffering is compared to animal suffering these analogies become truly objectionable. And that’s speciesism.

As to whether animal suffering is of a greater scale than human suffering, as the declaration suggests, this seems inarguable to me. Over 65 billion land animals are slaughtered every year, according to Farm Animal Rights Movement. To put that in a bit of perspective, the Population Reference Bureau estimates only 107 billion humans have ever lived. So, of course, animal suffering is infinitely greater than its human equivalent. Some may ask why this matters, wondering if animals really need to compete in what’s often called the “Oppression Olympics.” I’m sympathetic to this line of questioning. But the truth is the scale of violence against animals must be clearly stated in a society, in which, even amongst leftists, animalism is dismissed as an eccentric, bourgeois concern, that, at best, can be seen to after capitalism, white supremacy, and patriarchy are overthrown.

The declaration continues, stating, “Whereas; we recognise our role as animal rights activists as being to directly advocate for non-human animals giving their interests a voice (as they have none in human society), rather than to represent our own ideologies and interests.” Presumably, the only portion of this with which animalists might disagree is the admonition not to represent one’s own interests. First of all, it has to be pointed out no one is forced to stop representing their own interests based on what’s said in the declaration. It’s not legally binding or anything. So, to me, it’s suggesting that, say, the animalist worker devote his time to confronting human supremacy, rather than his own exploitation by capitalists. The worker is, of course, free to do whatever he chooses. As the declaration repeatedly states — and as should be assumed, given the fact it’s written by random people on the internet, not the government — these are principles voluntarily agreed to.

In her article, Syl suggested activism was not a zero-sum game, and thus there is no need to prioritize one struggle over another. I’ve made similar statements in the past. But the truth is, we are mortal beings with limited time on this earth. Time spent by the animalist worker, rallying against his capitalist exploiters, is time taken away from efforts aimed at defeating human supremacy. That’s the reality, sad as it is. And while surely capitalism and human supremacy are connected, some efforts more directly fight one than the other. Conscious or not, some sort of prioritization of struggles must take place. And to me, that’s what the Non-Human First Declaration is. It states the signatories prioritize the goals of the animalist movement above all other political objectives.

In perhaps the most controversial statement of the text, the declaration states, “No one should be excluded from participation in animal rights activities based on their views on human issues. The non-human animals are in a situation of immediate emergency and need all the help they can get! Furthermore, the women’s rights, anti-racism, etc. movements have no requirement that participants reject species oppression and nor should the animal movement demand the adherence to human rights positions while animals are still in a state of emergency.” Such a big-tent approach is fairly common in other movements. For instance, one must assume the National Abortion Rights Action League has no official position on socialism. Were it to insist all of its members be socialists, the group would obviously be smaller and less effective.

Exploring this point in more depth, I’ve used the example of anti-war movement in the United States of the 1960s and 1970s. According to socialist Peter Camejo, there were two general strategies amongst peace groups of that era. One was represented in the Student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (SMC), and the other in Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Camejo belonged to the former organization, which — according to Michael Steven Smith and Paul Leblanc, writing in the International Socialist Review — ultimately served as the “backbone of the campus antiwar efforts.” For his part, Camejo credited SMC success to its big-tent approach.

“The SMC didn’t require that its members hold any particular beliefs outside of wanting the United States to immediately withdraw from Vietnam,” Camejo said. “The [Socialist Workers Party] understood that the development of a genuinely united mass movement against the war was of crucial importance and that people didn’t have to agree on the nature of capitalism, the two-party system, or other issues in order to work together to demonstrate against the war.” In contrast, SDS insisted participants in their anti-war efforts agree on multiple issues, and as a result their demonstrations were much smaller.

To me, the conclusions Camejo draws here feel intuitive, and how they would apply to animalist campaigns seems obvious. The fewer ideological demands one applies to potential members or participants, the larger your base of support will be. The more ideological demands one applies to potential members or participants, the smaller your base of support will be. In practice, this suggests we should support big-tent animalist groups, that don’t have an official position on new welfarism or abolitionism, let alone trigger warnings and Palestinian resistance. However, as the declaration states, “every rule has its exceptions.”

The text continues, but I think, for the most part, it restates already-mentioned principles, the objections to which I’ve addressed. In conclusion, I believe the Non-Humans First Declaration has been unfairly demonized. While I will not speak to criticism of the signatories or social-media activity associated with the text, I do support the declaration itself. I look forward to what I hope is a constructive dialogue on the issue, free from personal attacks on both sides.

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Animals shouldn’t take a backseat to ‘intersectionality’

The misguided and treasonous ideology that ‘human liberation equals animal liberation’ is deeply embraced by animal liberationists who want to create alliances with speciesist humanists in pursuit of some egalitarian world vision. It is such a basic tenet among many, that simply challenging their humanist propensities routinely fractures alliances within our own community. In practice, however, the energies of animal activists are routinely diverted by those leftists (and some right-wingers) who continue to exact their own human privilege, laughing at us as they dine on the cadavers of their own slaves! The only truth is that until human overpopulation is dealt with, Animal Liberation will remain elusive. In the meantime, we are extremely encouraged to see the following submission coming from our well-established colleague in the socialist community. Even an intersectionalist can see that the animal rights movement is dominated by human supremacy. We are either animal liberationists or humanists, period! And the sooner the ‘intersectionality light’ is extinguished, the faster we can all focus on Animal Liberation. -An NHF/NIO Editorial

human prideby Jon Hochschartner
Simulposted with NIO

In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis in the animalist movement on ‘intersectionality,’ by which is meant consideration of human issues such as class, gender and race. This is obviously a worthwhile endeavor on its own terms. And simply from a strategic level it’s good in that a more inclusive struggle will be bigger and thus more effective.

But I’d argue recently some animalists have ceded too much ground, so much so that animal issues have taken a backseat to human ones within the animalist movement itself. And for our efforts we have received very little in return. If the broader left is more open to consideration of anti-speciesism than it was a few years ago, the change is hardly noticeable.

Let me first say that I have arguably been a part of the problem. In as much as anyone in the anti-speciesist movement is familiar with me, it’s through my writing that sought to foster dialogue between socialists and animalists. Coming primarily from the latter perspective, some of my criticism was internal. For instance, I criticized what I saw as ineffective, ‘individualist’ strategies employed by the animalist movement, such as emphasizing the personal boycott of animal-derived products and relying on acts of sabotage or violence carried out by small groups.

But I believe the majority of my criticism was aimed externally, at the anthropocentrism of the socialist left. Don’t get me wrong. Internal criticism is necessary for the health of any movement. But recently, I believe the ratio of external to internal criticism has gotten out of whack. In today’s animalist environment, writers seem to receive recognition primarily based on the degree to which they minimize animal concerns in the face of human issues such as class, race, and gender, and criticizing other animalists for doing so inadequately.

It has reached the point where even the staunchest animalists have become reluctant to make basic comparisons between humans and animals and how both are exploited for fear of offending speciesists by “appropriating” the struggles of human groups. Never mind that these human groups have often, in seeking to define their ill-treatment, reached for the metaphor of animal exploitation themselves. And never mind that all human-liberation struggles have compared their efforts to prior, more successful human-liberation struggles — “appropriating” them — in the hopes of gaining needed legitimacy.

If we are unwilling to make these cross-species comparisons, to compare animals to humans and the exploitation of one to another, why bother fighting for non-humans at all? The animalist movement might as well fold up shop. Yes, let’s be intersectional, both because it’s good in itself and good strategy. But let’s reject the often unstated, speciesist premise of such ‘intersectionalists,’ that animals are fundamentally different than humans and their suffering less meaningful. Let’s begin a conversation about the productivity of internal and external criticism from animalist writers, as I believe we currently value the former disproportionally. And let’s not fault animalists for prioritizing species issues.

After all, socialists prioritize class; feminists prioritize gender; and anti-racists prioritize race. If we won’t prioritize non-humans, who will?

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A Challenge to Total Liberation

Animal Lives, Over Human Politics. Non-Humans First.

The Animals Don’t Care Who Saves Them!
Animal Lives, Over Human Politics.

By Camille Marino and Aran Mathai (Simulposted with Negotiation Is Over!)

The philosophy of “Total Liberation” teaches that human rights equal animal rights, and that Animal Liberation activists need to build an inclusive liberation movement by aligning ourselves with the left to the exclusion of all other political affiliations. In theory, this may seem to make sense, but in reality in a world where 99% of the human race exploit non-human animals this is not only counterintuitive but grossly offensive. How can the issues of human beings that take part in the holocaust of over 50 billion animals a year for food alone be equal to those of innocent animals? How can we consider the interests of a single species (humans) equal to the 200 plant and animal species we cause to become extinct each day?

Furthermore, total liberation fails to account for the fact that, in practice, even the most oppressed human being still enjoys a birthright of privilege over all other species (at least theoretically). Admittedly, there is a commonality of oppression that underlies the exploitation of all animals, human and nonhuman alike. But we must acknowledge that often human rights improvements (for humans that have not relinquished their privilege over other animals) increase the oppression of non-human animals. For example, economic improvements lead to increases in factory farming, meat consumption, animal labs, etc. Therefore in many cases, at this stage, human and non-human interests do not aline.

Additionally, human interests are always put above non-human rights within the Total Liberation community. No pressure is put upon the women’s rights, anti-racism, or any other social justice movements to have a requirement that participants reject species oppression but participants with the animal rights movement, according to Total Liberation, must not be racist, sexist, etc. and if they are must be excluded from helping animals.

We have few colleagues who vehemently disagree with our views on this issue because most who disagree will not speak to or work with us. It is unclear whether this is a function of totalitarianism or simple childishness. But it speaks to the fact that Total Liberation which espouses building a multi-faceted liberation movement is anything but inclusive. “You would work with racists? Fascists? Republicans? … Then I can’t work with you!” This is the prevalent mentality of those who preach total liberation. These people would have to reject the accomplishments of many, including one of the pioneers of radical environmentalism, Edward Abbey, because he was an open racist and sexist. We posit that it is fundamental in establishing a formidable Animal Liberation movement that we need to throw our moral and political checklists away and focus on what is in the best interest of the animals. It is wholly congruent to celebrate Edward Abbey as an activist and not condone his politics. Further, some of the most prominent proponents of total liberation are closet racists, sexists, and homophobes espousing sheer hypocrisy. So who is allowed, then, to advocate for Animal Liberation?

Furthermore, our role as animal rights activists should be to directly advocate for non-human animals giving their interests a voice (as they have none in human society), rather than to represent our own ideologies and interests. Using the animals for our own political platform is an abuse of our human privilege and shows we have not truly relinquished it.

In its infancy, NIO was mentored by one of the gurus of total liberation. They fed vegan food to the homeless, got in on the ground floor of the Occupy movement to promote veganism, worked with anarchists, anti-capitalists, immigration activists, and others. In each and every instance, their energies were diverted away from the animals to promote the interests of these privileged human groups and there was zero reciprocity. In practice, total liberation is groundless.

In reality human beings do not take action for animals because you help their cause, they take action for animals because they are moved by the suffering of animals (or they do not take action because they are not so moved). The Total Liberation philosophy fails to understand that some individuals care about the suffering of non-human animals and others do not. It does not matter how nice or nasty animal advocates are, how much they work for human rights or how anti-racist, feminist or LGBTQ-friendly they are or not – people either care about other animals or they don’t.

We also need to recognize that throughout history, alliances between animal activists and human-issue groups arose generically, served a purpose, and then dissipated. For example, when Camille served time as a political prisoner in Detroit she and a black sovereign, Ebony Malcom, initiated a coordinated hunger strike at the institutions where they were respectively incarcerated. This hunger strike brought together people of color, whites, vegans, non-vegan, religious and athiests, prisoners and prison staff, in a showing of solidarity and resistance. They stood together as one against the oppression of all animals against a system of oppression. It was empowering. They were one. Some remained vegan and several Animal Liberation activists were recruited from that exercise. But it was a moment in time. It served a purpose and ended.

We are very curious to learn about any other instances where the philosophy of Total Liberation was employed in the real world for the benefit of the animals rather than to their detriment by promoting their oppressors. We would applaud any practical application of this philosophy. But we haven’t seen it. We have only seen Total Liberationists exclude all who challenge their comfortable theory.

We do not oppose alliances between human and non-human rights causes on specific projects where our goals happen to aline. These alliances are not based on our own ideologies on human issues but rather whatever is beneficial to non-humans at any given time, that is our only legitimate role as animal advocates.

This is not to say that those who challenge Total Liberation don’t have political inclinations of our own or don’t care about human rights. Human beings are dimensional. It is simply that the interests of the animals are paramount and all else pales in comparison.

When a liberator opens a holocaust victim’s cage, the animal does not check the political affiliation of the freedom fighter before he steps out of his shackles and nor should we.

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An exclusive interview with Camille Marino, founder of Negotiation is Over and Eleventh Hour for Animals!

We were very please to get the opportunity to speak with Non-Humans First Declaration supporter Camille Marino from the USA about her hard-hitting and exciting work against the vivisection industrial complex! In this interview she explains in her own words the strategies, tactics and ideas that drive her dynamic activist approach.

Camille Marino Protesting

Hi Camille, an honor to speak with you. Could you tell us a bit about
your work?

Thank you, Aran. The honor is all mine. I founded Negotiation is Over (NIO) in 2008 and Eleventh Hour for Animals in 2010. My vision for NIO remains one of exposing abusers and shaming them publicly. If you torture animals from nine to five, you should not expect to go home and enjoy any semblance of peace and anonymity. Vivisectors hate my approach. And they should. I think what shocks me more is that welfarists hate my work more because the vivisectors don’t approve. I find it difficult to understand how some in our community are more concerned with gaining the approval of the enemy rather than fighting for their nonhuman victims.

 
What is your campaigning strategies and why?

Eleventh Hour for Animals, as opposed to NIO, is a very focused campaign to expose the crimes committed against approximately 10,000 animals inside the University of Florida every day. After three successful lawsuits, we gained access to the records documenting these atrocities. They fought us for years because they knew that we were unafraid to use the information to their detriment. They’ve had the laws changed in Florida twice to shield their vivisectors from being identified. I think it’s clear that UF vivisectors, like all abusers, fear having their animal-torture industry exposed. Their crimes cannot withstand the light of day.

But unlike the conventional model of focusing on the occasional violation of welfare laws, I am more concerned with documenting the 99.9% of animal torture that is conducted fully within the law. We need to disarm them of their welfare propaganda mantras. This is how we will shut them down. The welfarist approach only serves to perpetuate the vivisectors’ talking points and give the public the impression that most “research” is “humane.” These contingents in our community work hand in hand with vivisectors. It’s utterly disgraceful.

In my mind, this is very simple. Institutional animal abuse is a business. I am far less concerned with changing hearts and minds than I am with affecting abusers’ profits, exposing them, and making it a liability to continue. Animal Liberation will be achieved when the detriments of animal abuse outweigh the benefits.

 
Could you tell us a little about the oppression from the state you have suffered?

Five weeks after winning my first lawsuit against UF on December 30, 2011, I was arrested for the first time in my life at an anti-vivisection demo. UF orchestrated my arrest and subsequent extradition out of the state. All told, I have been arrested 6 times, extradited to Michigan twice, had my house raided once and all my computers seized, I spent over 8 months in jail, 3 months on house arrest, and 7 months banned from the internet and all activism. But I was never fazed. There is nothing they can ever do to me that remotely compares to what the animals endure.

But is the traitors within our movement – those that align themselves with vivisectors, those that promote their talking points, and those that adopt the state’s repressive language to neutralize frontline activists – that pose a far more insidious threat to the animals than the state ever could.

What is your message to those outside of the animal rights movement?

I have little tolerance for those who understand there is a holocaust, understand factory farming, yet refuse to go vegan. And I have little faith that the human race will ever relinquish its privilege over all other species without being forced to do so.

But I am currently in negotiations with a mainstream publisher to repackage my first book about my experience as a political prisoner. I believe I will be able to reach a much larger audience because this book will focus on the extraordinary betrayals by former friends as well as the emotional upheaval in my own life, it will focus on going to jail for another’s actions and never snitching. Because people will relate to my human experience, I want to believe that this will serve as an instrument to expose the University of Florida’s animal-torture industry and the inherent culture of corruption that surrounds vivisection to people who otherwise would never be exposed.

I guess I am going to use whatever vehicle is available to deliver the animal holocaust into their living rooms, with or without their consent.

 
What is your message to the animal rights movement?

My message to the animal rights movement is that I am here for the animals and the animals alone. You can love me. You can hate me. But you will never moderate me.

We need to continually escalate our actions and that means working outside the box if we are ever to realize Animal Liberation.

 
What are your views on the Non-Humans First approach to animal rights?

After having wasted so much time listening to nonsense about total liberation and trying to form alliances with other social justice movements, I believe the Non-Humans First approach is the only logical, honest, and practical manner in which to achieve Animal Liberation.

From wasting many years, I know that when animal activists try to ally ourselves with human-issue activists, our energies for the animals are co-opted and diverted and there is rarely, if ever, any reciprocity. Why would we think that speciesists are going to support the animals simply because we support them? It’s absurd!!!

We need to make our own movement more formidable and confrontational, and we need to create our own momentum. And then if other social justice movements want to support us because we are focused and uncompromising, then I will welcome them. I will welcome anyone who relinquishes their human privilege to fight for the animals above all else. Otherwise, I am generally unconcerned with the problems of the oppressors.

I’m not fighting for better working conditions for Nazis. And those who promote such drivel present nothing more than distractions and are betraying the animals.

 
What projects are you currently involved with and how can people help?

Thank you so much for asking. For many reasons, I am currently engaged in creating a base of community support around the unconscionable puppy and horse experiments inside UF. Sadly, I have found that potluck vegans are of little, if any, value to the animals and so I am turning my attention outside of our community. I fully understand that where civilians are concerned, they make speciesist distinctions between horses, dogs, or other “domesticated” animals… this allows people to love horses and eat cows. Nonetheless, if I can bring people into the movement around an issue about which they feel strongly (e.g., horses), I have a far greater opportunity to recruit them into the vegan Animal Liberation movement than I would otherwise. And the animals need us to become a machine. We must cultivate warriors the same way the profit-motivated capitalist industries cultivate mercenaries. Abusers don’t have a moral checklist that they require their recruits to fulfill before they may become vivisectors. I do not understand the mentality in our movement that holds a sociological and political checklist that vegans have to fulfill before we are qualified to fight for liberation.

So while I am recruiting and creating an atmosphere against vivisection in different segments of the community, I would strongly urge everyone to join Eleventh Hour for Animals on Facebook and participate in our cyber actions to support our on-the-ground efforts.

The other project in which I am deeply involved is in trying to get a focused and dedicated campaign off the ground to counter a proposed new primate breeding facility in Florida. I don’t want to elaborate because it would jeopardize our efforts. But it is imperative that we direct our energies at campaigns that will have a significant effect on compromising the infrastructure of the global vivisection complex.

 
Do you have anything more you would like to add?

I would like to add that the animals are imprisoned inside a man-made hell on earth. Liberating them should be our only objective.

It is my only objective! And I’m not winning any popularity contests for it.

Camille Marino and Brutus

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Non-Humans First comrades in Russia, Alliance For Animals, Invade Moo-Moo restaurant.

Here is the report from our Russian friends Alliance For Animals:

In the evening on 25th of June a group of young fans of Moo-Moo restaurant chain decided to take part in company’s contest «Go Meat Eater». One of the conditions of this contest is to «put the photo of you and your favourite meat dish from Moo-Moo menu on the internet».

We did our best to become true meat eaters, that’s why in addition to Moo-Moo dishes we took some meat with us along with a whole head of a pig and planned to make brutal bloodful feast to prove we are real predators and thus get adorable t-shirts of the contest.

However we were quickly approached by the security and managers of the cafe, who started to scream and humilate us. Furthermore they called the police and held us as hostages until the officers came.

We are deeply indigant at this behavior of Moo-Moo represantatives and claim for official explanations concerning this incident. Why arrange the contest for the best meat eater if they are not ready to provide the conditions for the normal participation of competitors? What are these cheap hypocrisy and ignorant treatment of customers for?

Dear marketologists of Moo-Moo, you should either take the cross off your neck or put your underpants on!

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